15 Best Cenotes In Yucatan You Need To Visit! (2024)

People swimming in a pool with vines.

I had the incredible opportunity to visit one of the most breathtaking cenotes during the summer months. Cenote Ik Kil truly stole my heart, jumping off the cliff into crystal-clear waters, surrounded by lush vegetation. It was a moment of pure exhilaration!

If you’re searching for the best cenotes in Yucatan to take a refreshing dip, you’ve come to the right place. With over 6,000 cenotes scattered across the state of Yucatan, it can be daunting to find the perfect ones to visit.

But I’ll go over some of the best ones to not miss out on, like Cenote Ik Kil, Cenote Oxman, and Cenote Suytun. If you’re a fellow traveler in search of cenote magic this blog post is for you! As your trusted guide, I’ll help you explore Yucatan’s diverse cenotes for an unforgettable experience.

The water in these cenotes can be quite chilly. But after being under the scorching sun all day the refreshing sensation is exactly what you need to cool off. Oh, and a friendly reminder, don’t forget your water shoes! I almost slipped on the steps going into the cave. Now, let’s dive in and discover the best cenotes that await us!

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Map of All Cenotes!

What Is A Cenote?

If you’re planning a trip to the Yucatan, chances are you’ve heard of cenotes. But what exactly are they? Cenotes are natural sinkholes filled with crystal clear water that were formed by collapsed limestone bedrock. They have been used for centuries as a source of fresh water by the Mayan people and have recently become popular tourist attractions.

The Best Cenotes To Visit!

1- Cenote X’keken

A woman is standing in the water inside a cave, checking off an adventure from his Yucatan Mexico Bucket List.

If you’re up for an adventure, you should definitely check out Cenote Xkeken in Yucatan! This hidden gem is known for its stunning stalactites, hanging from the cave ceiling like nature’s chandeliers. Located near the town of Dzitnup, this cenote offers a unique experience with its crystal-clear turquoise waters and captivating natural beauty.

Fun fact, Cenote Xkeken was used as a filming location for a popular adventure movie. The movie is called “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” and it’s a must-watch before visiting this incredible cenote.

  • Hours: Every day 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Fees: $5 per person
  • Map: Cenote Xkeken

2- Cenote Suytun

A person standing on a platform in the Yucatan Mexico cave

One of the best cenotes in Yucatan has to be Cenote Suytun a hidden gem that will leave you in awe. One of its unique features is the mesmerizing light beam that pierces through the cenote’s opening, creating a surreal atmosphere.

Located near Valladolid, Cenote Suytun is easily accessible and definitely worth a visit in Yucatan. As you descend the stairs into the cenote, you’ll be greeted by crystal-clear turquoise waters surrounded by lush greenery. The cenote is partially covered by a natural rock dome, adding to its charm. So, grab your swimsuit and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Cenote Suytun!

  • Hours: Every day 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Fees: $9 per person
  • Map: Cenote Suytun

3- Cenote Oxman

A stunning blue hole in the Yucatan jungle, fringed with lush green trees - a must-see on any Yucatan Mexico bucket list.

Another one of the best cenotes in Yucatan is Cenote Oxman, located just southwest of Valladolid. It’s an underground cave-style cenote with a collapsed cave and an open roof. The natural light pouring in illuminates the crystal-clear waters, creating a mesmerizing sight.

And the best part is they have a high-flying rope swing! You can unleash your inner daredevil and swing into the refreshing waters. Trust me, it’s a must-visit spot that will leave you in awe of its beauty.

  • Hours: Every day 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Fees: $9 per person
  • Map: Cenote Oxman

4- Cenote Hubiku

A close up of a water surface with reflections in one of the best cenotes in Yucatan.

If you’re up for a unique adventure, you should definitely check out Cenote Hubiku! Located in the beautiful city of Temozón, this place has it all. Not only can you explore the breathtaking cenote, but you can also enjoy a delicious meal at their on-site restaurant.

And that’s not all! Cenote Hubiku also has a fascinating Mayan museum, where you can learn about the rich history and culture of the region. Crystal-clear turquoise water, surrounded by lush greenery and ancient Mayan artifacts. It’s like stepping into a hidden paradise.

  • Hours: Every day 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Fees: $13 per person
  • Map: Cenote Hubiku

5- Cenote Ik Kil

green vines growing down into the cenote Ik Kil

If you’re looking for an Instagrammable spot, you’ve got to check out the best cenotes in Yucatan, Cenote Ik Kil! This stunning cenote has even been a stop for Red Bull Cliff Diving events. Located near Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico, this natural wonder will take your breath away. Imagine a massive sinkhole with crystal-clear turquoise waters surrounded by lush greenery and hanging vines.

It’s like stepping into a hidden paradise! You can swim in the refreshing cenote, dive from the platforms, or simply relax and soak in the beauty. Don’t forget your camera, because this place is a photographer’s dream!

  • Hours: Every day 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Fees: $7 per person
  • Map: Cenote Ik Kil

6- Cenote Samula

One of the best cenotes in Yucatan, a cave with icicles hanging from the ceiling.

Cenote Samula is a well-kept secret located in the city of Valladolid. This cenote is truly something special, with its unique stalactite formations that hang from the ceiling, creating a mesmerizing sight.

One of the most fascinating features is the tree roots that descend from the ceiling, adding a touch of natural wonder to the whole experience. It’s a place where you can cool off and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem!

  • Hours: Every day 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Fees: $4 per person
  • Map: Cenote Samula

7- Cenote Zaci

One of the best cenotes in Yucatan, this cave features a refreshing pool nestled in its midst.

Cenote Zaci is situated right within the city of Valladolid, making it super convenient to visit. One of the unique features of Cenote Zaci is the presence of a rare eyeless black fish known as ‘Lub’. It’s fascinating to see these extraordinary creatures up close.

Cenote Zaci not only offers a refreshing escape from the heat but also mesmerizing views. With its turquoise waters and lush surrounding vegetation, this cenote is like a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Don’t miss out on this natural wonder!

  • Hours: Every day 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Fees: $2 per person
  • Map: Cenote Zaci

8- Cenote Sac Aua

One of the best cenotes in Yucatan, this cave in the jungle features a mesmerizing river running through it.

Cenote Sac Aua is another hidden gem located 36 minutes north of Valladolid. What makes it unique is its ring-shaped structure, which adds to the thrill of exploring it. Not only is it visually stunning, but it’s also perfect for kayaking!

Picture yourself gliding through the crystal-clear water, surrounded by lush greenery and enchanting rock formations. It’s truly a sight to behold! So, if you’re looking for a fun and unique experience, don’t miss out on visiting Cenote Sac Aua.

  • Hours: Every day 8:30 AM – 4:40 PM
  • Fees: $9 per person
  • Map: Cenote Sac Aua

9- Cenote X’Canche

Explore one of the best cenotes in Yucatan, Mexico featuring a stunning cave with a captivating waterfall and a picturesque bridge.

Near the Ek Balam ruins is Cenote X’Canche a cenote with not only breathtaking views but also thrilling activities like zip-lining and rappelling. Located near the city of Valladolid in Mexico, Cenote X’Canche is a natural wonder with crystal-clear turquoise waters surrounded by lush greenery.

As you descend into the cenote, you’ll be in awe of its sheer beauty and tranquility. Whether you’re a nature lover or an adrenaline junkie, Cenote X’Canche is a must-visit destination that promises an unforgettable experience.

10- Cenote Yokdzonot

A group of people are swimming in a blue lake in Yucatan Mexico.

Cenote Yokdzonot is located in the beautiful city of Yokdzonot and you can make a stop here from Merida to Chichen Itza. It’s a hidden gem with vibrant flora all around. What makes it even better is that it’s managed by a cooperative of Mayan women, making it a sustainable tourism project that supports the local community.

By visiting Cenote Yokdzonot, you’re not only experiencing a natural wonder but also contributing to the livelihoods of these women and their families. Cenote Yokdzonot also has a zip-lining experience. Visitors can soar above the crystal clear waters and lush greenery for an unforgettable adventure

  • Hours: Every day 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Fees: $9 per person
  • Map: Cenote Yokdzonot

11- Cenote Xlacah

Tulum, Mexico is renowned for having some of the best cenotes in Yucatan.

Cenote Xlacah has amazing emerald waters that are simply breathtaking. What makes it even more special is that it’s at ground level, making it super easy to access. Located between the beaches and Merida, this cenote is one of the longest-surveyed underwater caves in the area.

Picture yourself surrounded by stunning rock formations, stalactites hanging from the ceiling, and crystal-clear water inviting you to take a refreshing dip. Trust me, it’s a sight you don’t want to miss!

  • Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (closed Saturday and Sunday)
  • Fees: $8 per person
  • Map: Cenote Xlacah

12- Cenote Zazil Tunich

One of the best cenotes in Yucatan, this cave boasts a stunning pool adorned with magnificent stalactites.

Cenote Zazil Tunich is easily one of the best cenotes in Yucatan. Located in Yalcoba it offers a guided tour attraction that requires reservations. But here’s the catch, you get to dine under the ground! How cool is that? The cenote is famous for its breathtaking stalactite formations that will leave you in awe.

And wait until you see the stunning light show that illuminates the entire place. It’s truly a sight to behold! So, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience and some jaw-dropping natural beauty, Cenote Zazil Tunich is the place to be.

  • Hours: Every day 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM by appointment only
  • Fees: $15 per person
  • Map: Cenote Zazil Tunich

13- Cenote Yaal Utzil

A group of people are swimming in one of the best cenotes in Yucatán, a stunning blue hole.

If you’re looking for a serene and less crowded cenote experience, don’t miss out on checking out Cenote Yaal Utzil! Located in Mucuyché, offers a natural sanctuary where you can unwind and connect with nature.

What sets Cenote Yaal Utzil apart is the peace and tranquility it offers, away from the busy crowds of other cenotes. It’s the perfect spot to escape the daily hustle and immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder.

14- Cenote San Ignacio

Explore the crystal-clear and mesmerizing blue water in one of the best cenotes in Yucatan.

Cenote San Ignacio is a semi-open cenote, located in Chocholá, is famous for its crystal-clear, lukewarm waters and the mesmerizing light effects caused by the sun’s rays streaming through the openings.

One of the highlights of this cenote is its ancient rock formations, which add a touch of mystique to its natural beauty. Picture yourself swimming in the refreshing waters, surrounded by stunning rock formations and basking in the magical glow of sunlight. It’s truly a sight to behold!

15- Cenote Palomitas

A group of people are swimming in one of the best cenotes in Yucatan.

Cenote Palomitas is absolutely stunning, with its impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations that will leave you in awe. The best part? It’s lit with a soft red light, adding to the enchanting and mystical atmosphere.

Located in the vibrant city of  Yalcobá, this cenote is a true gem. Imagine yourself surrounded by turquoise waters, lush greenery, and the echoes of nature. It’s like stepping into a magical underworld. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience!

  • Hours: Every day 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Fees: $6 per person
  • Map: Cenote Palomitas

How To Get To Cenotes?

Getting there is easier than you might think. If you’re starting from Mérida, the capital of Yucatán, follow these travel tips for a hassle-free journey:

  • Public Transportation: Hop on a bus headed for towns close to popular cenotes. Look for direct routes to save time. You can check them out on Omio
  • Car Rental: More flexibility and the freedom to explore at your own pace. Parking is typically available at cenote sites. You can find affordable ones at Rentalcars.com
  • Cenote Tours: Consider booking a guided tour. They handle logistics and often include multiple cenotes in one trip. I was able to get picked up from my hotel in Merida with this tour!
  • Bike Rental: For the nearby cenotes, rent a bike in Mérida for a scenic and invigorating ride.

For more detailed directions, check out my handy maps for each cenote mentioned earlier.

FAQs

What is the most beautiful cenote in Yucatan?

When it comes to beauty, every cenote in Yucatan has its own unique charm, but one often stands out as the most beautiful.

Cenote Ik Kil: This world-famous cenote is a sight to behold, boasting crystal-clear blue waters and lush vegetation draping from the opening above. As you descend the carved stairway into Ik Kil’s sacred waters, you are entering what feels like an entirely different world.

Swimming in this open-air natural pool, with small waterfalls and the roots of the surface vegetation reaching towards you, is an experience that combines the thrill of adventure with the tranquility of a natural paradise.

Cenote Ik Kil is my favorite! It’s in my Yucatan Bucket List. Whether for a refreshing dip, marveling at the stunning natural features, or simply relaxing in its serene ambiance, Ik Kil offers an unforgettable encounter with the wonders of Yucatan.

Is it safe to swim in Mexican cenotes?

Absolutely! Swimming in Mexican cenotes is generally considered safe, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience.

Guided Tours: Opt for a guided tour if you’re unfamiliar with cenotes. Guides know the safest spots to swim and can provide valuable insights.
Life Vests: Many cenotes require life vests to aid even strong swimmers due to varying depths and to help preserve the delicate ecosystem.
Health Check: If you have open wounds or skin conditions, it’s best to avoid swimming because cenotes are natural habitats with delicate balances.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can confidently enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of these natural pools. Dive into the waters and let the ancient spirits of the cenotes refresh your soul.

How deep is the water in cenotes?

The depth of water in cenotes can vary greatly, ranging from shallow pools just a few feet deep to vast underwater chambers that reach down over 900 feet. Some popular ones like Cenote Ik Kil are approximately 40 meters deep.

Always be aware of your own swimming capabilities, and don’t hesitate to ask local guides for the most accurate and current information about depth levels.

Final Thoughts-

When it comes to the best cenotes in Yucatan, my top three favorites are Cenote Ik Kil, Cenote Oxman, and Cenote Suytun. These cenotes offer breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences.

Personally, I was captivated by the stunning view from the bottom of Cenote Ik Kil during my visit. The Yucatan region is truly a haven for cenote lovers, and these three locations are not to be missed. Before you leave, read how much I paid for my trip to Yucatan and my 4-day itinerary!

Happy exploring!

Kaylee Janell's signature

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Find Your Next Vacation Destination Here!

The best cenotes in Yucatan surrounded by a vibrant green plants and a pristine white border.

What Are My Recommended Resources For Planning A Trip?

When planning my trip, I use my trusted trio of CheapOair, Viator, and Booking.com to provide a comprehensive solution for everything I need.

CheapOair is a go-to resource for affordable flight tickets. With its extensive network of over 600 airlines, it offers a wide array of choices, enabling you to easily compare prices and select the best deal that suits your budget and travel schedule.

Viator on the other hand, is an excellent platform for booking tours and activities. It provides access to thousands of sightseeing tours, attractions, and events in over 1,500 locations worldwide. It ensures you don’t miss out on the unique experiences each destination has to offer.

Booking.com is your reliable partner for accommodations. With over 28 million listings including hotels, apartments, and hostels, you can find the perfect place to stay that fits your budget and preference.

Together, these platforms make trip planning convenient, cost-effective, and fun. They ensure you have everything you need, from flights and accommodations to activities – at your fingertips.

Check Out My Resources Page For All My Recommended Travel Tools!

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